Vance leads Ellendale to state 'B'

Brennen Vance played like a young man possessed. Maybe it was because it was his final game at the Jamestown Civic Center? Or, maybe it was because Ellendale hadn't been to a state tournament in boys basketball in 32 years? Whatever was the fuel,...

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Ellendale coach Brian Vance, above, provides his team some encouragement during the championship game of the Region 3 boys basketball tournament Thursday at the Jamestown Civic Center. Ellendale defeated Carrington 53-40. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Brennen Vance played like a young man possessed.

Maybe it was because it was his final game at the Jamestown Civic Center? Or, maybe it was because Ellendale hadn't been to a state tournament in boys basketball in 32 years?

Whatever was the fuel, there was no stopping the Region 3 senior athlete of the year on Thursday night.

Vance hit five 3-pointers, scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Cardinals are returning to state for the first time since 1985. Ellendale defeated Carrington 53-40 in the championship game of the Region 3 tournament.

The state Class B boys basketball tournament begins Thursday in Minot.


"I was just feeling it, and what a game to have it in," Vance said. "I can't even believe it right now."

Ellendale's senior star took over the game from the start. Vance buried three treys and scored 17 points in the first half, helping the southern Cardinals lead 14-12 after one quarter and 28-22 at the half.

Brennen's father, Brian Vance, had a front-row seat for his son's performance. Brian, a 23-year coaching veteran, took home Region 3 coach of the year honors.

"Mom had a talk with him last night," Brian Vance quipped. "He was focused all day yesterday, all day today. That's what seniors do, I guess."

Carrington cut the deficit to 28-27 early in the third quarter with the help of junior Jayden Shipman's third 3-pointer of the game. But, as he did all night, Brennen answered.

Vance knocked down another from downtown, pushing Ellendale's advantage to 31-27 with six minutes to play in the third, and Ellendale would go on to lead by as many as 18 points in the second half.

"We tried a lot of different things, and he was good," Carrington coach Tim Ranum said of Vance.

"He wins senior athlete of the year, and this was kinda his night. We wanted to shut him down, but he had a pretty super-human performance so we've gotta tip our hat to him."


Carrington was dealt a blow early. Senior center Bryce Edland picked up his second foul with 3:25 remaining in the first period, and he'd watch just over nine minutes of the first half from the bench.

Ellendale outrebounded Carrington 17-8 in the opening 16 minutes. Carrington also struggled against Ellendale's half-court zone.

Carrington shot just 26 percent from the field in the game, which included missing 16-of-24 attempts from 3-point range. Six of Carrington's seven first-half field goals, however, were 3-pointers.

"It was the defense," Brian Vance said. "(Carrington) hit some 3s in the first half, but that was kinda the game plan. You live by (3s) and die by them, and it worked."

Edland and junior guard Garrett Bickett each finished the game with 10 points to lead the northern Cardinals. Carrington finished the season at 19-5 in Ranum's first year at the helm.

"This was a good season, but next year we know what we want to do," Ranum said. "I hope this kinda leaves a sour taste in their mouth and a lot of kids put in the good work in the offseason."

Ellendale senior Luke Wertz finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds.

The seeding for next week's state 'B' boys tournament at the Minot State Dome will be revealed live on TV at approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday, in between championship games at the Class A state tournament in Bismarck.


"It's been a long time since we've been there, and let's hope we can get a few wins," Brennen Vance said.

Ellendale will be playing in its eighth state tournament, having won state championships in 1945 and 1967.

"It's kinda been a family vacation," said Brian Vance, who has been head coach at Ellendale since 1999. "We go there every year. But now we get to go there and work, so it's going to be kinda fun."

Third place

Senior Cole Vanderlaan's line of 23 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks helped Linton-HMB end the season with its 21st victory.

Lance Weiser added 15 points and 13 rebounds, as the Lions topped Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter 68-55 for third place. Cole Baumiller also hit double figures in scoring for the Lions with 13 points.

Imperials' senior Bryce Fettig went out with a bang. The forward connecting for five 3-pointers on eight attempts, leading N-G-S with 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Sophomore Jamison Fettig produced 13 points and four assists for the 11-12 Imperials.

Region 3 Boys Basketball Tournament

At Jamestown Civic Center


Ellendale 53, Carrington 40

Ellendale 14 28 39 53

Carrington 12 22 31 40

Ellendale-Brennen Vance 31, Luke Wertz 14, Austin Molan 5, Lucas Hofer 2, Hunter White 1. Totals: 19-35 FG, 9-12 FT, 6-16 3-pointers (Vance 5, Molan 1), 29 Rebounds (Vance 10, Wertz 8), 11 Fouls, 5 Assists (Vance 2, White 2), 10 Turnovers, 2 Steals (2 with 1).

Carrington-Garrett Bickett 10, Bryce Edland 10, Jayden Shipman 9, Kolton Vetter 6, Seth Nelson 5. Totals: 12-46 FG, 8-8 FT, 8-24 3-pointers (Shipman 3, Bickett 2, Vetter 2, Nelson 1), 22 Rebounds (Nelson 8), 15 Fouls, 4 Assists (Shipman 2), 3 Turnovers, 1 Block (Hayden Schmitz), 4 Steals (Vetter 3).

Records: Ellendale 20-5; Carrington 19-5.

Tournament Awards

Senior athlete of the year: Brennen Vance, Ellendale

Coach of the year: Brian Vance, Ellendale

Third place

Linton-HMB 68, Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter 55

N-G-S 10 24 40 55

L-HMB 14 30 55 68

N-G-S-Bryce Fettig 19, Jamison Fettig 13, Pacey Fiest 6, Sam Bitz 6, William Kleppe 5, Ethan Kleppe 3, Steven Schumacher 3. Totals: 21-51 FG, 3-4 FT, 10-26 3-pointers (B. Fettig 5, J. Fettig 3, E. Kleppe 1, Schumacher 1), 19 Rebounds (B. Fettig 8), 11 Fouls, 6 Assists (J. Fettig 4), 10 Turnovers, 7 Steals (B. Fettig 3).

L-HMB-Cole Vanderlaan 23, Lance Weiser 15, Cole Baumiller 13, Jared Baumiller 9, Chase Schiele 5, Jack McCrory 2, Parker Gerving 1. Totals: 26-56 FG, 9-11 FT, 7-18 3-pointers (C. Baumiller 4, Schiele 1, J. Baumiller 1, Weiser 1), 40 Rebounds (Weiser 13, Vanderlaan 12), 4 Fouls, 6 Assists (3 with 2), 11 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Vanderlaan 3), 4 Steals (4 with 1).

Records: L-HMB 21-3; N-G-S 11-12.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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